Instead of making promises we're unlikely to keep, we're challenging you to start just one important habit -perfect your morning grooming routine, to start your day in the best way possible.
Here at Aspinal of London we believe in being the best version of yourself, and although pamper products and beauty routines might traditionally be associated with women, the rules for men are no different. We've partnered up with a handful of great British grooming brands to bring you their top tips on creating a seamless morning routine that will help kick start your day.
No morning should start without the essentials; a good eight hours of sleep, lots of water and maybe even some exercise, but indulging in a few minutes of self-care before the work day begins can vastly improve your confidence and mood throughout the day.
Where to begin, we hear you ask? Check out these top tips to plan a morning routine that works for you…
Overhaul your shaving routine
- Begin with a minute or so under a hot flannel to soften up the skin and beard. If skin is cold the beard's bristles are less flexible which makes it harder to achieve a close shave.
- Squeeze a dollop of Heath London Face Wash into your palm and rub hands together. Then smooth over your face adding warm water, to deep clean and rub off grime and dead surface skin cells. This will give you a fresher, cleaner looking face as it helps unclog the pores, whilst also smoothing skin.
- Apply a shaving cream with a shaving brush to help lift off the hairs at the roots. When shaving, start with sides, then neck and chin leaving the moustache till last. Follow the grain of the beard and the downward direction the hair grows. Occasionally shave across the grain but never against, as this can lead to nicks and cuts.
- There are lots of wet razors to choose from but Executive Shaving recommend a safety razor. They load up with thin, double edge, all steel blades that are recyclable - unlike cartridge blades which fill up landfill and pollute the oceans. Each blade is good for around 4-6 shaves and costs on average 30 pence each - a massive saving compared to cartridge blades.
- Derrick Webb, the founder of Bolin Webb recommends a comfortable, attractive and hygienic handle fitted with a leading blade. He uses an R1 Chrome razor fitted with a Gillette Mach 3. cartridge. With only three blades, it gives a more sensitive shave than its 5-blade Fusion alternative, which cuts too closely for him.
- Rinse off with cold water to help calm the skin and close the pores. Pat dry with a towel - anything more vigorous will only aggravate an already delicate post-shave skin, and this will remove excess oils, dead cells and debris.
Truefitt & Hill's range of bath and shower gels offers an invigorating, yet gentle, daily cleansing routine for the most discerning male. Their formulation combines essential oils and aromatic notes of bergamot, mandarin and cardamom with lavender, geranium and clary sage, all resting on a sandalwood, cedarwood and musk base. Beautifully packaged in bottles which give a nod to the brand's esteemed heritage; their bath and shower gels offer a daily indulgence to leave skin feeling nourished, soft and perfectly hydrated. Uniquely designed to hold moisture and to give a feeling of freshness throughout the day, their expert team has combined exactly the right amounts of skin-beneficial ingredients, including aloe-vera and glycerin, to soothe even the most sensitive of skin types.
Cleanse, treat, style. We have Pall Mall Barbers' favourite tips for perfect hair styling, first: Throw away that 6 in 1 shampoo, its coating your hair in silicone and suffocating your scalp. Instead, at the beginning of your shower before your hair is wet, use a small amount of Pall Mall Barbers Tea Tree Shampoo and scrub into the hair. Then rinse and shampoo again. The second shampoo will give a give a rich lather. One rinsed apply a small amount of their Tea Tree Conditioner. Leave the conditioner on for the duration of the shower and then rinse at the end. This will leave the scalp nourished and refreshed.
All bottles are made from recyclable materials; so no more plastic clogging up the oceans. Pall Mall Barbers Argan shampoo and conditioner is ideal for anyone whose hair and scalp are feeling a tad dry as an alternative.
The most popular look for the Pall Mall gentlemen is a matte finish. A matte finish makes the hair appear thicker and fuller. To achieve this look we would recommend applying a small amount Sea Salt Spray to towel dried hair. Sea salt spray thickens the hair shaft as it enforces minerals into the hair. This also adds volume to the roots. Be sure to apply sparingly. Then comes the finishing product. Using a dab of Pliable Clay for fine to medium hair or Texture Enhancer on thick hair is a great way to achieve a matte look. Be sure to blow dry the hair first so your look lasts all day. If you do not have time to blow dry, pop one of our 50ml travel tins in your bag and style at work.
Not forgetting a bit of beard love, Troy Argones, Master Barber at Hawkins & Brimble suggest three steps to get your beard looking it's best:
- Comb your beard regularly. This helps train the beard and then use a small amount of Beard Balm, which will hold the shape of your beard.
- A couple of times a week give your beard a clean with Beard Shampoo. This will help get rid of any residue oil in your beard.
- And 2-3 times a week give your beard some extra love with a good quality Beard Oil. This will stop the beard getting too bristly and brittle and will give the hair a good old moisturise! Any more, and you might end up making your skin too oily.
One of the most important steps is taking care of your skin. Monroe of London believe that the best way to look after your skin is to do a little bit every day. The best thing about their routine is that you are giving yourself the very best protection from pollution and sun damage, while at the same time, speeding up cell turnover, minimising pores and reducing blackheads, fine lines and break outs. So here is what they recommend for a brighter, fresher, clearer complexion...
Dampen the face with warm water and apply a small amount of Monroe Exfoliator and Pore Minimiser. Massage around the nose, forehead and chin as this will act in two ways, removing dead skin cells and promoting cell rejuvenation. This in turn will bring younger, fresher skin to the surface much quicker. Firstly, Glycolic acid will dissolve the glue that holds the dead cells together, while the quarts grain will gently break them up and remove them. This can be done every day, or twice a week if the product is left on the skin for about 15-20 minutes. Doing this regularly will reduce the size of pores, so that less dirt can get trapped and cause break outs, commonly resulting in a dull complexion. A quick tip here is to apply the product and then brush your teeth as this will give it a couple of minutes to penetrate and work more effectively. Once again, remove with a face cloth.
Now onto moisturiser; Monroe Moisturiser and Shave Balm SPF20 is a triple action product that will hydrate, using hyaluronic acid, and will release it into the skin according to the humidity in the atmosphere. This way, you are never over hydrated and feeling greasy, but your skin is continuously getting the moisture it needs. It also acts as an effective shaving balm by calming any irritation and protecting from bacteria. The SPF20 is an added bonus.
The final step is to apply your signature scent, and we've enlisted the help of fragrance experts Floris, as they believe a good fragrance is a powerful thing - an invisible part of your personality that those who encounter you will remember, more so than you might think. Build a wardrobe to suit your mood and season and mix it up. For a modern take on a travel fragrance, they recommend Bergamotto di Positano. A Citrus Marine fragrance that's become cult favourite at Floris. If you're looking to find a warmer, smokier or woodier fragrance, 71/72 the collaboration with renowned shirt makers Turnbull and Asser would be the ideal addition. And last but by no means least is the iconic No. 89, the same classic fragrance favoured by James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Once your grooming routine is taken care of, you can start your day with confidence, as the right morning routine will lead you to a successful day no matter where you're headed. To continue the day with your favourite products, take them with you on the go in our Toiletry and Wash Bags. A staple item for any gentleman, the spacious and durable collection is handcrafted in high quality Italian leather, and are an essential if you're travelling.